Mercedes Benz W196 Grand Prix Car Weekend In France 1954 European…

18 Апр 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes-Benz W196


Dawn Of A New Age In F1

Mercedes-Benz returned to Prix racing after a absence in July 1954. hard to believe that 50 years have passed that exciting weekend at when the Silver Arrows marked the beginning of a new chapter in the of Formula One. And what a it was!

The weekend was also a for me. I was a newcomer to Europe, and all I had to go on were the and stories that I had seen in the year in English and German Already there were of the serious testing going on at and other tracks by the Mercedes-Benz led by Rudolf Uhlenhaut and managed by the Alfred Neubauer. The lead driver was Karl Kling, who was to put in a strong showing at Reims, he finished only a second Juan Manuel Fangio at the end of the

I had driven to Reims from in my Volkswagen Microbus, and I met up with two one of whom was Maurice Rosenthal, a French photographer who helped me a photo credential that me complete access. After into the unpaved paddock by way of a tunnel, I saw three streamlined racers surrounded by curious and fans-including, of course, members a few of the other teams, principally and Maserati.

The Mercedes-Benz W196 Prix car was revolutionary. A beautiful body enclosed a space a driver sitting midship, his spread wide apart the transmission shaft. In front of him was a wooden-rimmed steering wheel those on pre-war Mercedes a tachometer showing an 8500-rpm and a fuel-injected straight-eight 2.5-liter installed 20 degrees from the

When the mechanics raised the huge drum brakes the scene, mounted in-board up (at the rear they were on each side of the differential). unusual feature was the mechanically valves, but, no matter how were the details, the overall was of a beautifully crafted machine, to compete with Grand racing’s best. As Neubauer had prophesied, We are building cars to

Testing and development had been on for almost two years prior to the appearance, and so there was plenty of in the Mercedes pits when produced a 200-kph practice And Kling was not far behind. Reims was one of the tracks in Europe, consisting of two straights connected by a fast, right-hander at the end of the front straight. Ludvigsen described it as a vast At the end of the back straight was the main between Reims and Soissons, a corner at Thillois connected to the straight.

Mercedes-Benz W196

Practice was held as early as and continued through Thursday and On Saturday there was a 12-hour car race, which gave the F1 a break to catch their breaths and consider tactics. and Kling were impressive in and were applauded by the management and from Stuttgart, who were to witness a successful debut of new car.

The competition, however, was and some predicted the German would be unreliable on their outing. Ascari and Villoresi in Maseratis, having been by Lancia, while Hawthorn, and Trintignant were in Ferraris. were several privately Maseratis, normal for the period, and of the most interesting was Prince from Siam, whose had been painted in national blue and yellow. The German looked sensational in their magnesium skins, and they as exotic as they looked the mechanics warmed the eight-cylinder at a steady 3000 rpm, powerful roar in contrast to the blipping going on in the Italian

Sunday, July 4, race The weather was warm and clear. A crowd lined one side of the straight and had a clear view of the as well as the back straight the sweeping fields in front of The grid formed several yards beyond the main On the front row were Fangio and flanked by Ascari in his Maserati. came Froilan Gonzales in the Prince Bira, who had made an showing in practice, and the third driven by Hans Hermann. were 21 starters in all, and the flag dropped Fangio and raced off into the lead, Ascari in their dust-he had his start and was passed by the entire

I set off for the Thillois corner almost a mile away, and as I walked the grass at trackside, the sounds of the as they roared down the was astounding. Gonzales was there them as well, struggling to up with the German cars. He put up a fight but eventually spun at when his engine blew. and Fangio exchanged the lead times, and Hermann set fastest lap but rolled to a stop at Thillois, by a cloud of blue smoke.

Wrote Denis Jenkinson in the 1954 issue of MOTOR Relentlessly the two Mercedes-Benz went and round, never more a few seconds apart, with in the lead most of the time but letting Kling set the pace. the race had fizzled out and it had become a demonstration run, all the more as it was their first race an entirely new car.

Mercedes-Benz W196
Mercedes-Benz W196
Mercedes-Benz W196
Mercedes-Benz W196

interesting



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